The best source for the freshwater angelfish fish is usually buying directly from your local angelfish breeder. If you don’t have an angelfish breeder nearby, you can also find them online or by looking for ads in pet fish magazines. Members of The Angelfish Society are another good source for angelfish breeders.
Buying From Local Fish Stores
Of course the most convenient source is the local pet or fish store. One of the disadvantages of buying fish from a store is the shipping time before they arrive at the store. The fish may stay at a supplier for some time, which increases the stress factor on the fish.
This doesn’t mean ignoring the local fish store. Frequenting a few stores allows you to get to know the individuals that work there. By knowing them, they should be more forthcoming with someone they know. Find out how and when they get their stock. Buy fish that have been with the fish store for at least a week. This allows the fish to recover from the trip and the unhealthy stock will have died off within a week.
Things To Look For
The dealer tanks should be clean. There shouldn’t be sickly looking or dead fish. The fish should be perky and active. Look for erect fins. A healthy angelfish fish should have its vertical fins erect. See that these fins aren’t stunted or stubbed. This would indicate the angelfish has a genetic disorder, or had its fins nipped off by other fish due to crowded conditions or living with an aggressive tank mate. If you move your hand over the top of the tank, they should move to the top seeking food.
Angelfish Fish To Avoid
Look for white spots or fuzz anywhere on the fish. This is an indication they have a parasite or disease. Watch how the fish swim that may give an indication of a problem. They shouldn’t be lethargic.
Avoid fish with any sign of deformation. Look at their gills, eyes and fins, and if there’s anything you don’t like, don’t purchase it. Ask a store representative about any concern you have. Having a good rapport with the store employees is important.
Buying Freshwater Angelfish From Magazines or Online
One of the drawbacks about buying from the internet or ads in magazines is that the angelfish are bought unseen. Make a few small purchases until the quality of the dealers stock becomes known. It is better to focus on a few dealers that deliver quality fish with no surprises, and restrict purchases to them. You can ask fish society members and internet fish forums for recommendations for angelfish breeders.